Olympia. Édouard Manet. 1863. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France. (left) Victorine Meurent. Edouard Manet. 1862. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
When other artists correct nature by painting Venus they lie. Manet asked himself why he should lie. Why not tell the truth? Emile Zola (1840-1902), writer, commenting on Olympia
When the Salon exhibited Edouard Manet's Olympia in 1865, an enormous uproar followed. Though fellow artists realized the significance of the work, the more conservative public and critics were not as receptive. They termed Olympia, "vulgar" and "immoral." Antonin Proust, a journalist and friend of Manet, noted: If the canvas of the Olympia was not destroyed, it is only because of the precautions that were taken by the administration.